Washington, District of Columbia 2021-04-08 02:23:17 –
Jack Hanna, a celebrity zookeeper and host of an animal television show, has been diagnosed with dementia and will retire from public life, his family said.
Columbus, Ohio (AP) — Jack Hanna, a celebrity zookeeper and host of an animal television show, has been diagnosed with dementia and will retire from public life, his family said.
In a news release on Wednesday, his family added that he is now believed to have rapidly developing Alzheimer’s disease in the past few months.
Hannah, 74, was the director of the Columbus Zoo from 1978 to 1992 and is still the Honorary Director.
“Dad advocated improved wildlife habitat and focused on connecting communities and animals,” said a statement signed by his three daughters. Hannah remained a spokesperson for the Ohio Zoo until she retired in 2020.
Hannah is also well known for her live animal demonstrations at talk shows hosted by Johnny Carson, David Letterman and James Corden, raising the profile of the Columbus Zoo and increasing its large attendance over the years.
Always wearing khaki on TV appearances and photographs, Hannah hosted the popular syndicated TV show “Jack Hannah’s Animal Adventure” from 1993 to 2008. Also, “Jack Hannah’s Into the Wild” started in 2007 and “Jack Hannah’s Wild Countdown” until last year.
“My dad’s health is deteriorating rapidly, but his great sense of humor continues to shine,” the statement said. “Yes, he is still wearing khaki at home.”
His family sought privacy in the light of COVID-19 restrictions.
“He has lived a life connecting people and wildlife because he always believed that letting people see and experience animals was the key to participating in more influential conversations,” he said. Said the family. “Dad can no longer travel or work in the same way, but we know that his infectious enthusiasm touches many hearts and remains his legacy.”
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